An investigation has been launched to determine whether New York governor Andrew Cuomo broke the law by allegedly leaking the personnel file of the first of eleven women to accuse him of sexual harassment.
Cuomo’s former aide Lindsey Boylan first accused him of sexual harassment in December on Twitter. In February, Boylan shared details of the alleged harassment, claiming that Cuomo had compared her to one of his former girlfriends, asked her to play strip poker with him, and made unwanted sexual advances toward her, including forcibly kissing her on the lips.
Hours after Boylan’s first accusations were made, her personnel records, which included disciplinary recommendations and bullying allegations, were released to media organizations. Boylan, who worked for Cuomo’s team from March 2015 to October 2018, claims the leak was part of a smear campaign orchestrated by Cuomo and his aides to damage her reputation.
It is alleged that Cuomo personally met with advisors to discuss what action to take after Boylan’s accusations came to light.
New York state whistleblowing laws make it illegal to take retaliatory action against alleged victims of sexual harassment. According to a new report by the Washington Post, investigators for New York State Attorney General Letitia James are probing whether Cuomo and his aides committed a crime by allegedly releasing Boylan’s records.
In February 2021, Charlotte Bennett, an executive assistant and health policy advisor to Cuomo, accused him of sexual harassment. In the weeks that followed, allegations of inappropriate sexual comments and conduct by the governor were made by former Obama administration member Anna Ruch, policy and operations aide Ana Liss, former press aide Karen Hinton, reporter Jessica Bakeman, Bloomberg reporter Valerie Bauman, aide Alyssa McGrath, attorney Sherry Vill, an anonymous member of the governor’s Executive Chamber staff, and an unnamed aide.
Some of the alleged victims accuse Cuomo’s chief aide Melissa DeRosa of making “intimidating” phone calls after Boylan’s allegations first came to light. DeRosa is further accused of being involved in the drafting of a letter sent to staffers to sign to try to discredit Boylan.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied the allegations made against him by nearly a dozen professionals. The governor claims he has “never touched anyone inappropriately” and “never made any inappropriate advances.”